SCOTTISH cider makers have put out a call to consumers to provide them with apples and pears in exchange for a free bottle of their product.
East Lothian-based cider maker Thistly Cross and gin and cider maker Gordon Castle in Fochabers are both seeking surplus fruit to use in the production of their ciders.
Anyone supplying the companies with fruit will be provided with one free bottle per bucket, working out at around one bottle per seven to ten kilograms.
The cider makers said most apple varieties are welcome, with the exception of crab apples, and provided the apples are healthy with no sign of rot.
For those without fruit to spare, Gordon Castle has invited consumers to visit the company’s grounds, where they are welcome to pick fruit from the castle’s walled garden, said to be home to 249 espaliered fruit trees.
Angus Gordon-Lennox of Gordon Castle said that the cider maker needs more apples and pears “to keep up with demand”.
“Everything we make here at Gordon Castle Scotland is created using ingredients either from our own walled garden or the local area, so using locally grown fruit from across the north east in our cider means we are staying true to that provenance,” said Gordon-Lennox. “The north east of Scotland is not known for its cider, perhaps we can change that.”
Thistly Cross founder Peter Stuart said that the apple season is the “most important time of the year” for the company.
“We’ve already started accepting the first intake of late summer/early autumn fruit and as a proudly Scottish brand we’re inviting [people] to donate spare apples,” said Stuart. “We’re lucky enough to know friendly apple growers across Scotland in lots of interesting places, including all kinds of estates and walled gardens, and the orchard within the grounds of Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
“But, Thistly can’t make all the cider it wants without [customers’] help, so every year we swap fruit for our very own cider or apple juice.”